Why so senseless? Fight with stranger became fatal

Why so senseless? Fight with stranger became fatal
Bloodstains at an area near the main doors of Orchard Cineleisure shopping mall, which were cordoned off. A man, believed to be in his early 20s, was set upon by a gang of men with knives there on 15 June 2013.

A teenage stranger had pushed open the door of the toilet cubicle that he was in, so he got angry, scolded the teen and fought with him.

Mr Goh Ho Leong, 52, later died from his injuries after the teenager and five of his friends assaulted him in 2011.

Given this and other recent cases of violence, the question arises: Are such acts becoming more common?

Has Singapore as a society be come desensitised to violence?

The New Paper spoke to two psychologists and two counsellors to get a sense of what's happening on the ground.

The general consensus was that violence is becoming more commonplace and that we are becoming desensitised. Mr James Tan, director of Tan Yen Psychology Clinic, said he felt people have become inured to violence.

He attributed this to graphic depictions of violence in video games and wide access to violent footage of real-life events via social media - of terrorist activities and mass shootings, for example.

"Without proper guidance, young people may blindly model the behaviour they see," said Mr Tan.

Mr David Kwek, family therapist at CounsellingWerkz, said statistics have shown a marked increase of violent cases among members of Generations Y and Z.

Incidents like the slashing outside Cathay Cineleisure Orchard earlier this year may be attributed to people generally experiencing issues with anger management and impulse control.

Mr Kwek also brought up the difference in social skills in the real world with the rise of electronic communication.

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